Slate Readers Love Cheesy TV Theme Songs, Opening Sequences Featuring Modes of Transportation

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 18 2010 5:37 PM

Slate Readers Love Cheesy TV Theme Songs, Opening Sequences Featuring Modes of Transportation

Last week, in my storyabout the TV theme tunes of fall 2010 , I asked readers to name theirfavorites. Judging from the many and varied responses, Slate commenters are nostalgicfor the '70s and '80s, the glory days of long, bombastic opening sequences. toledohamradio asked, "What's wrongwith the 55-second theme song to give you time to grab a snack and a beverageand hum along?"

Never mind humming along, many of the themes that receivedmultiple nominations could be karaoked, since they're real songs, with lyrics and everything. One of the most frequently praised was The Greatest American Hero , a show I'venever seen. Of course, as soon as I checked it out, I recognized the tune .

June Thomas June Thomas

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 


hat1521 conjured up the sentimental side of TV themes: "I watched Cheers with my dad when I was little. I loved the theme song, but it always made me sad for some reason."

Among current network shows, Fringe and Chuck receivedseveral shout-outs, and in premium cable land True Blood got lotsof love, but the most popular contemporary openers were Barenaked Ladies' song for BigBang Theory ...

.. and the Friendly Indians' "I Know You Know" used in Psych . Severalreaders mentioned the coolvariations on that theme. Here's the version used for the Season 4 episode "BollywoodHomicide"

If you look at a lot of opening sequences in a short period,you realize how many feature modes of transportation and moving vehicles. See,for example,

Welcome Back, Kotter


And, of course, The Streets of San Francisco (love the spoken credits)

Of course, not everyone likes a long theme tune. As Andy Joeobserved, "If it sucks or is uninspired, it might as well be short." Although Maude , one of mypersonal favorites, received several nominations, The Family Guy proved that big isn'talways beautiful.

  Slate Plus
Plus Roundups
Jan. 30 2015 11:44 AM What Happened at Slate This Week? Social media guru Lindsey Underwood highlights the most popular stories of the week, from the Patriots to Tom Petty.